Chesa Futura (‘house of the future’ in Romansch) fuses state-of-the-art computer design tools with centuries-old construction techniques to create an environmentally sensitive apartment building. Although its form is novel, it is framed and clad in timber – one of the oldest and most sustainable building materials. In Switzerland, building in timber is particularly appropriate in that it follows traditions developed and refined over centuries. The building’s larch shingles respond naturally to exposure to the elements, changing colour over time to a silver-grey, and should last for a hundred years without the need for maintenance.
Floating home by i29 architects is part of Schoonschip, a new floating village of 46 households that aims to create Europe’s most sustainable floating community. Based on an urban plan by Space&Matter, over 100 residents moved into and revitalized a disused canal and established themselves a living on the water. The location has a strong industrial past but today it is one of the most rapidly changing city parts of Amsterdam transforming into a more multi-functional living area. The new floating neighborhood is intended to be an urban ecosystem embedded within the fabric of the city: making full use of ambient energy and water for use and re-use, cycling nutrients and minimizing waste, plus creating space for natural biodiversity.
Surrounding the site in the outskirts of Tokyo is lush green and a slow-paced environment. The building was commissioned by a family composed of the husband who manages an insurance company, the wife who works as a patternmaker and their two children. It was planned as a SOHO, with a space for the yoga classes run by the wife added to the house. The distinguishing exterior consists of a wooden volume covered with a luminescent wall sitting on top of a base made of exposed concrete engrained with the texture of Japanese cedar.
Recently the opening of the new premises of biotech company Genmab took place at the Science Park Utrecht. The new head office of Genmab, which has branches in Copenhagen and Princeton – New Jersey, is an integral design of Cepezed and Cepezed interior. The new building has been designed on the basis of an open work culture and intensive interaction, also with external parties. With a high sustainability score and ample daylighting, the new building offers a comfortable, healthy and inspiring (work) environment for employees and visitors.
Pontsteiger (‘ferrypier’) is a large-scale residential project in Amsterdam. The building is located at the end of a 200 metre dam that projects into the water of the river IJ. The ‘Big Friendly Giant’ foreshadows Amsterdam’s growth of high-rise buildings around river IJ. The design creates not just an iconic object but a public space within itself. The building consists of a six floor low-rise block that wraps around a plaza on the waterfront. Two slender 60 metre high towers at the open end of this block frame the river view. The towers carry a bridge spanning 48 metres rising to a height of 90 metres. The building is elevated 7 metres and set upon a base of four pavilions.
In Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the heart of Noto, there are the most prestigious buildings and churches of the 18th century, including the former Convent of Jesuits. This imposing edifice, that is just over 100 m long, was designed by Rosario Gagliardi, undisputed protagonist of the reconstruction of Noto and many other cities located in Val di Noto. This project concerns the interior of one of many commercial low parts that make up the large building’s ground floor. The design strategy aims at settling a complex programme of catering activities by enhancing the existing architectural space qualities and characteristics.
Located on the west side of Kvitfjell, 45 minutes north of Lillehammer, the cabin designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects is situated 943 m above sea level, nearly at the top of the mountain (1,039 m). Its high altitude means the cabin is exposed to severe winter weather, at times being socked in and at times floating peacefully above the clouds in the valley below. From November until April, one can put on downhill skis and reach the local market to go grocery shopping, returning home using the lifts. On cross country skis one can connect to hundreds of kilometers of trails, reaching country lodges to rest and warm-up. In the summertime, it’s possible to hike from the cabin to the top of Kvitfjell (which means White Mountain in Norwegian) in about 20 minutes or reach one of the many streams and lakes for swimming and fishing.
House MCM is a warm and enveloping project by Ghiroldidesign, located on the top floor of a 19th century villa with a large garden, in the Italian city of Brescia. Its owners, a young lawyer couple, asked for their new home open spaces in the living room and dining room, and a very cool space. The intervention of the Mantua-based firm consisted of a structural and technical renovation of the house that led to the opening of the central wall, in the area of union between the living room, dining room and kitchen. In the renovated space, new elements coexist with others recovered, creating aesthetic synergies between past and present, and making some elements stand out thanks to others.